Jeffrey Epstein's Transhumanist Views Produce Human Chaos
Jeffrey Epstein, the mysterious multi-millionaire financier who was found dead in his prison cell after being arrested for child molestation, is a perfect example of what happens when science becomes unmoored from faith.
Epstein is best known for his glittery, celebrity-studded, funhouse-style life, in which he jetted with people like Bill Clinton to a private Caribbean island for days of debauchery. Not as well known is that Epstein was also deeply fascinated by and invested in the world of science. Specifically, according to a New York Times story, Epstein "hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch."1
That line may seem like something out of a particularly bad science-fiction novel, but at least four sources told the Times that Epstein had for many years confided this scheme to scientists of his acquaintance. He actively cultivated relationships with such scientists, hosting Harvard luncheons and elaborate dinner parties for them, and even offering financing for some of their research projects.
"Mr. Epstein's vision," said the Times, "reflected his longstanding fascination with what has become known as transhumanism: the science of improving the human population through technologies like genetic engineering and artificial intelligence." His foundation even paid the salary of the vice chairman of Humanity Plus, formerly the World Transhumanist Association. Apparently, Mr. Epstein believed himself to be a cut above the rest of mankind, to the extent that "seeding" the human race with his DNA would somehow improve matters on a global scale.
According to another source, Epstein spoke against helping poor people by providing them with food or healthcare, because doing so would only lead to an increase in the world's population. He also had an interest in cryonics, the freezing of the body after death in the hope of one day being able to restore it to life through improved scientific techniques.
In other words, Epstein completely divorced the concept of humanity, or of improving humanity, from the concept of the family. He didn't need a wife to access sex. And he wouldn't have needed one to produce children, either. Disturbingly, the authors of the Times story reported that "there is no indication that it would have been against the law" for Epstein to try to create a mini-race.
Detached from Faith
This is what happens when science becomes completely detached from faith, a process that has been happening for some centuries now. According to Rod Dreher in The Benedict Option, the unraveling began in the fourteenth century. Prior to that, philosophy was ruled by the concept of metaphysical realism, the idea that "all things exist and have a God-given essential nature independent of human thought."2 God was in Creation, and all Creation thus pointed to him. The scientist's job, then, was to discover how God had ordained things to work.
This concept was defeated by nominalism, the theory that nothing has intrinsic meaning but is instead assigned meaning by man. Dreher writes that although this may seem to be splitting hairs a bit, the distinction is profound. Nominalism laid the groundwork for all later political theories positing that man, not God, is at the center of the universe.
The family, then, which according to metaphysical realism has a divine and transcendent meaning and purpose bestowed upon it by God, under nominalism is rendered merely a collection of individuals who happen to live together as long as it pleases the more powerful members. First, we don't need the two sexes to have a marriage; then, we don't need a man and a woman to produce children. It's not a great leap from there to Epstein, who also didn't need a family to produce children and for whom children were merely a means to "better humanity," presumably by making humans smarter or more physically fit.
The Christian knows that those who wish to "better humanity" are in fact buying into a pack of lies, the author of which is the evil one. Creation, including humanity, is fallen, to be redeemed only through the saving work of Christ, the Creator. Transhumanism and other such movements operate in a moral vacuum—to what end is humanity "bettered"? A longer, healthier life? The elimination of poverty? These are laudable goals, perhaps, but even healthy goals become twisted in the wrong hands. Epstein wanted to "better humanity" but didn't believe we should help the poor. People like Hitler and Stalin also wanted to "better humanity."
The Christian is called not to save humanity—that has already been done, by Christ—but to save his neighbor by being the hands and feet of Christ to him or her. And our neighbor is, first and foremost, the one living under the same roof as us, related to us by vows or blood. Our first neighbors are the members of our family, instituted by God for his glory. Science unmoored from faith, science that seeks to further man by eliminating the family through selective breeding, or artificial intelligence, or genetic manipulation, will unleash only chaos and grief.
1. James B. Stewart, Matthew Goldstein, and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, "Jeffrey Epstein Hoped to Seed Human Race with His DNA," New York Times (July 31, 2019): nytimes.com/2019/07/31/business/jeffrey-epstein-eugenics.html.
2. Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (Sentinel, 2017), 26.
is the managing editor of the Howard Center's quarterly journal, The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy.This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #51, Winter 2019 Copyright © 2020 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo51/bad-seed